Here in Washington, we have a history of pioneering new technologies and, fittingly, were recognized by Bloomberg as the most innovative state in the U.S. As we know however, innovation doesn’t come by accident but through a commitment to improve.
Washington businesses and agencies have made great strides to reduce their carbon footprint. Still there is more to be done, which is why our plan supports continued investment to lower greenhouse gas emissions. We need to continue investing in university-led research that can bring about the commercialization of low- or zero-carbon goods and services, promote public policies that encourage private sector investments in carbon reducing technologies and carbon sequestration and support Clean Energy Funds, which provide resources to promising technology.
Investments in these efforts have already shown promise. The Washington State Department of Commerce awarded a grant through its Clean Energy Funds program to Craft3, “a nonprofit community development financial institution with a mission to strengthen economic, ecological and family resilience in Pacific Northwest communities.” Craft3 then provides loans to businesses and individuals who want to improve their energy efficiency. As part of this program, a loan to McKinstry went towards developing a waste heat exchange system to provide hot water and heat for a large office building. McKinstry, a Seattle-based firm with more than 1,800 employees, estimates this will save about 2/3 of the electricity they would otherwise have to buy for water and heat. This investment reduces their greenhouse gas emissions by 5,516 metric tons. The success stories don’t end there; nor should we let them.
Investing in innovation is what we do, and how we will continue to reduce our carbon footprint.